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Trip Report Quickie Stockholm Restaurant Thoughts

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Just back from a week in Stockholm.

We were lucky to have dinner several nights with friends locally, but did also eat at the following for dinner:

Fem Sma Hus (Five Small Houses)
in Gamla Stan
Our visit began with a warm welcome at the door -- no reservations, no problem (of course it was March!). We were led downstairs via a circular staircase amid stone walls and archways to a wonderful series of "cellar" rooms lit by candlelight. All other diners in our room were Swedes (a good sign!). Our waiter was exceedingly friendly and polite, and good natured when I asked to take a picture of my meal(!) I had the carpaccio of elk for 1st course, followed by reindeer tenderloin for main dish. Excellent! My mother had a salad to start with fresh, fresh veggies. Very good. Followed by cod well prepared and seasoned. Nothing but good things to say about this place -- great ambiance, great service, great food! Would return!

in back of Opera House
Very cool little spot. Center "island" with seating at a common counter and additional (but few) tables around edges of the small room. No reservations taken. Again, such friendly and welcoming service. Open kitchen. Cozy, colorful wall tiles. Most patrons were headed to opera, or coming from work in suits. Again, no English heard here except for ours! Good wine list. I had octopus appetizer and my mother had warm chevre w/baby greens and toast (YUM!) while we both chose the white fish entree "special" w/roasted new potatoes. Simple, yet delicious! Friendly crowd, easy to find, would definitely return!

Grand Hotel - Veranda for Smorgasbord
One decision I regret...
It's not that the food was bad (it wasn't), or the ambiance was horrible (it wasn't great, but not horrible -- a bit sterile, and with so much construction, the view of the water was littered w/barricades, etc) but I just should have known better. I felt like we HAD to have a smorgasbord. And we could have skipped it. VERY PRICEY. Selections were fine -- many seafood appetizers that were tasty and fresh, main dishes were Swedish meatballs, lamb, white fish, veal, all just fine, and dessert relatively basic compared w/an American brunch in a city hotel. Nothing was "bad", it just wasn't worth it. Would have been better to try another restaurant versus this experience. Entire restaurant was full of Swedes celebrating special occasions (b-day, anniversary), so it's a popular spot. I would feel better if it had been less expensive, I guess.

Just thought I'd share these few thoughts. Trip report to follow -- I always seem to comment on the FOOD first! :)

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